MIAMI — Anxiety over President Donald Trump’s executive order on travel issued Jan. 27 has many communities on edge.
In addition to the seven
nationalities whose travel is restricted by this law — Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians, Sudanese, Libyans,
Somalis and Yemenis — one community in particular has been set on edge following
the advice of an attorney. And they are not from those countries.
At a recent immigration forum hosted by an Episcopal
church in Miami Gardens, attorney Dahlia Walker-Huntington addressed what she
saw as a potential dilemma for Caribbean nationals, particularly those
previously convicted of crimes or remaining outside of the United States for
extended periods of time.
“If you are a green-card holder and you were arrested, even if
you were not convicted or even if the case was dismissed, do not travel, as you
may be caught and be unable to return," Walker-Huntington said at the forum according to an article in the Atlanta Black Star.
Record attempted to contact Walker-Huntington, but was unable to
secure any response.
David W. Caulkett, vice president and founder of Floridians for
Immigration Enforcement, spoke with the Florida Record
about the executive order and its fate.
“Trump's first EO (executive order) was indeed flawed
because of the restrictions on permanent residents, but of
course the 9th District went overboard in the stay,"
Caulkett said. "I'm guessing permanent residents won't be
screened in the second EO.”
A second executive order is expected to
be coming within a week.
Caulkett said that Huntington’s comments about the first order were accurate, but if she
intended to include the as yet unannounced second EO, her warning was ill
Marlon Hill, past president of the Caribbean Bar Association, explained on a website
dedicated to Jamaican and other Caribbean nationals living in the United States that reentry is not guaranteed for any resident.
“While the President’s Order is directed only to nationals
of the seven listed countries, reentry to the United States is not guaranteed
for any lawful permanent resident,"
wrote. "Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents have
the discretion at all times to question U.S. citizens or permanent residents
coming from the above seven countries or from any other country.”
212(f) of the Immigration and
Naturalization Act (INA) states that the president has full
discretionary power over the borders. The section reads:
“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any
aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to
the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period
as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of
aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any
restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”
As a result, the law has been used in the past by other presidents.
Since its inclusion into the INA in 1952, the section
has been used by President Jimmy Carter to prevent Iranians from coming into the
United States. President Ronald Reagan used the law five times, President George H.W.
Bush used it once, President Bill Clinton used it 12 times, President
George W. Bush relied on it six times and President Barack Obama utilized it the most,
at 18 times.
Caulkett said that the 9th Court’s stay was
purely political and the court had made a fool of itself, but the ruling cannot
be dismissed by the Trump administration.
“Apparently, (the administration) is going to have to
appeal the stay of the 9th because there is a precedence in
there and if they don’t appeal it that precedence, which basically says the
President does not have the right to restrict inflow into the country, that
could stick around," Caulkett said.